Friday, April 2, 2010

Not Good Craic

There are times when my focus is on too many things at once - that's my current excuse - and I break something. We're getting ready to load the wood kiln, and I'm still thinking of making pots for it, or the next firing I'm planning in my head, which I'm thinking of doing the day after we unload this kiln. I made an experimental clay body with 50/50 local clay and Cedar Heights bonding clay, threw a pot with it day before yesterday and today, decided I could get it in the first firing and decorated the outside with terra sigilatta over wax resist and glazed the inside with my ash glaze.

Ten minutes later, I turned from a conversation with a customer inside my workspace and saw the crack.

Of course, one of the first thoughts that popped into my head was, "Don't fall in love with your pots until they're fired." This is something spoken to me 20-some years ago at Montgomery Community College in Troy, NC, by a woman from New York City. She was taking classes at MCC as well and eventually opened up a pottery shop on Old U.S. Hwy 220, the road you normally would take to get to the old J.B. Cole Pottery.

My first thought was that it was the fire clay. Five minutes later, I remembered that I had raw glazed it, and I thought maybe the glaze was too thick or the combination of several coats of terra sig and glaze caused the fracture. Or maybe it wasn't through drying completely. Then I remember having shown it to some customers prior to glazing it, but directly after applying the terra sig. I carried it out to the showroom and held it in the palm of my hand.

But being a large pot, it got heavy, so I put my hand inside and held it sideways supported on the inside wall. I think I might have even tossed it lightly a couple of times to turn it on the palm of my inside hand.

It was if I was courting the pot with my customers.

'She's lovely, isn't she?"

I don't think I fell in love with it, but love is mysterious, isn't it?

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